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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Derrick Williams’ message to NBA scouts

Mike+Christy+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+No.+16+Arizona+Wildcats+mens+basketball+team+took+on+the+Memphis+Tigers+in+second+round+action+of+the+2011+NCAA+Tournament+on+Saturday%2C+March+18+at+the+BOK+Center+in+Tulsa%2C+Okla.+The+Wildcats+held+on+for+a+77-75+win.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The No. 16 Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team took on the Memphis Tigers in second round action of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 18 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. The Wildcats held on for a 77-75 win.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – 32 points, 7-for-11 from the field, 5-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc — that was Arizona forward Derrick Williams’ stat line against the Duke Blue Devils, his one shining moment to once again prove doubters than he doesn’t have a weakness.

“”Honestly, I don’t think anybody can stop me, unless they foul me, really,”” Williams said during Friday’s day off. “”A lot of people throw different defenses at me. It just backfires. Whatever you try to switch everything, play box-and-1, zone, 3-2, 2-3, it just backfires.””

Much has been made of Williams’ future, a likely lock to go in one of the first five picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. Not that he’s looking ahead, but the sophomore believes, simply, he needs to prove the college analysts at hand wrong while he’s around.

Asked what he has to say to people who doubted him, Williams went through a short-list of examples to disprove his supposed weaknesses.

“”Say I can’t rebound; had 18 rebounds one game. Said I can’t shoot; had five 3s in the game last night. Say I can’t dribble; went down the lane yesterday, dunked. Say I don’t play defense; got two blocks to save the game.””

All fair points.

Williams finds himself in an awkward position; he’s a small forward playing center in college.

But at the next level, at 6-foot-8 and around 240 pounds, he doesn’t appear to have the quickness, horizontally or vertically, to guard an NBA small forward — think of Williams trying to defend the Knicks Carmelo Anthony. So is he strong enough to play the four spot in the NBA?

Hard to say, though Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski thinks he’s off on the right foot.

“”He’s actually their second-best ball handler,”” Krzyzewski said. “”He’s a very unusual player to guard. There is a physicality to his game. Clean, beautiful — he’s a beautiful player.””

***

Miller and Calhoun: Old history

Jim Calhoun has been around for a long time.

Sean Miller knows it; he played against the UConn head coach just as Calhoun was putting the Huskies on the national map, where they now stand among the nation’s elite.

An “”avid jogger”” in Miller’s words, Calhoun was hit by a car prior to his team’s game against Miller’s University of Pittsburgh.

“”I remember going out for warm-ups looking over there at him, and he had a big bandage on his face,”” Miller said.

On the same token, Calhoun remembers a game at Pittsburgh, where the blue collar crowd was getting rowdy.

“”We were winning and the crowd was getting unruly,”” Calhoun said. “”They weren’t happy, they were throwing things; and Sean did something with the crowd, kind of ‘Cool it, cool it.””

“”But he showed the character he had and the kind of kid he is and now the coach he is.””

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